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Is your condo smartly designed to host kitchen parties?

While there are so many benefits to living in a condo – no lawn to mow or snow to shovel, it might be difficult to host dinner parties in such a limited space. That’s the problem partners James and Peter experienced in their condo. Celebrity designer Steve Duncan solved the problem with the right kitchen renovations.Is it just me or does every floor plan you look at have something that doesn’t quite sit right.

You have likely heard before that the kitchens and bathrooms are where you get the best return of investment in a property. This can be especially true in a condo where space is at a premium and there can be mundane standard features.Capture

Case Study

Partners James and Peter fell in love with a 12 year-old property in downtown Toronto. It has exposed concrete ceilings and floors and offered many of the amenities they were searching for. However, the kitchen cabinetry was dated and showed signs of wear.

Side note: if you’re reading this and picturing your own kitchen, why not have a kitchen renovator look at your space? That’s what James and Peter did.

They set aside a healthy allowance to perform renovations so they could customize to their liking. I have reviewed the floor plan – along with their lifestyle – and made the following observations:

Challenges and Solutions

Entrance Hallway

Challenge: After you have entered the space, you must walk some distance before you can deal with your accessories. This causes clutter to be dropped near the front door.

Solution: Create an attractive welcome area and install a self-contained shoe rack that conceals up to 18 pairs of shoes. Add a key dish/mirror and small coat rack mounted to the wall in order to store multiple items in an orderly fashion.

front entrance

Second Bedroom

Challenge: The corner sliding door arrangement utilizes potential wall space to the kitchen and creates an awkward entrance.

Solution: Replace corner access with sliding door accessible from the hallway. Add high level glazing on new kitchen wall location to maintain passage of natural daylight.



Challenge: Kitchen is dated and shows many signs of wear. Existing island is a store bought unit that is not practical. Kitchen cabinetry along back wall impedes into living room area.

Solution: Remove all existing kitchen cabinetry and island, to be replaced with new kitchen. Configure new layout so that oven/hob and exhaust are situated in new island area. Reduce back wall run of cabinetry where oven was formerly located to maximize living room area.

Install bulkhead over back wall of new cabinetry in order to connect exhaust duct work to existing termination point. Incorporate both knee space for 2 stools and a small dining table against the island for flexibility.

kitchen condo

Master Bedroom

Challenge: 2 access points into the bedroom use up precious wall space for both the bedroom and living area. This is excessive.

Solution: Frame up one entrance point and maintain existing entrance near glazing. Additional wall panel space will provide potential area for media, artwork and/or storage unit. When the master bedroom door is kept open, this can help to visually expand the sense of space to either the bedroom or living area.

HXbedroom sliding door


Challenge: There are just a few ceiling mounted lights installed in the exposed concrete ceiling.

Solution: Incorporate new lighting as follows:

  1. Install 4 recessed pot lights in the new dropped ceiling at the kitchen;
  2. Select an island exhaust hood that includes lighting to provide plenty of light on the hob/countertops;
  3. Install new pendant light in the hallway.


Master Ensuite

Challenge: The master suite bathroom sink is a dated pedestal type sink with no storage. There are no other storage compartments in this area and James and Pete have many toiletries.

Solution: Remove existing vanity and replace with new 36″ wide vanity with concealed shelved storage underneath.


Kitchen Transformations: Where functionality and fun collide

The kitchen area has and will be an important hub of James and Peter. They really enjoy cooking and plan to hold many parties in their new space. You may have noticed that people tend to gravitate around a kitchen island during a house party. This is due to the fact that an island is at the right height to stand when chatting and handy for placing drinks or canapés. Sitting (or dancing) on the countertop is not advised! However, ensure to build a secure and sturdy unit to avoid any mishaps.

kitchen party

One last piece of advice: Remember, to avoid a medical emergency at your next house party, just keep the dancing at floor level.

By investing in the right kitchen design and layout, this centrally located space will serve as a highly multi-functional zone – cooking station, dining area, work space, bureau, office and party central. We have an extensive directory of experienced kitchen renovators who can transform your kitchen to your liking and lifestyle. Give one of them a call today!

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